Thursday, 12 August 2010

Function over beauty

freshly made beads drying on their wires
4 segments of this rack maximise the kiln size and 
allow for varied sizes and shapes of beads

standard 3 tiered rack 

beads drying a little before being threaded onto 
their wires

Several people have contacted me in the last week or so asking about how I support my beads whilst they are drying and then during the firing process.  I have custom made bead racks out of earthenware clay to suit both the size of my kiln and the size of the beads I want to fire. Larger beads need more support so need to be on shorter nichrome wires supported at intervals of about 10cm or less. Tiny beads not weighing much can be threaded onto longer 20 - 25cm wires. The racks are not elegant like the ones you would purchase from a ceramic supplies but they are way cheaper and do the job just as well. The beads sit on their wires for about 3-4 days before being fired to around 1040 degrees C. Then with a bit of luck they come out of the kiln transformed from white, dry, unexciting beads to shiny, glossy, gorgeous ones, ready to be designed into jewellery.



Nadia said...

Fascinating, and gorgeous of course! You have it all figured out and set up. That's really impressive.

Gillian Davies said...

these pics are just gorgeous; it's very Egyptian somehow! and etherial and very you- turquoise turquoise turquoise...! I am going to email you a pic of a turquoise leather jacket I saw at edinburgh college of art degree show it has recessed goemetrical panels and i love it! think you might too. G